In connection with Julia Wchtel´s show at NO.5 Platform presents a talk by Quinn Latimer.
Quinn Latimer is an American poet and critic, and occasional editor and curator, based in Basel, Switzerland. Her work often explores economies of language, class, and gender, charting the movement among literature and film, while tracing the importance of letters to history throughout. She is the author of Rumored Animals (2012), which won the American Poetry Journal Book Prize; Sarah Lucas: Describe This Distance (2013); and Film as a Form of Writing: Quinn Latimer Talks to Akram Zaatari (2014). A regular contributor to Artforum and a contributing editor to Frieze, her critical and poetic writing also appears in many artist monographs and critical anthologies. Her writing, lecture-performances, and video collaborations, meanwhile, have been included in exhibitions such as ‘Der Leone Have Sept Cabeças’, CRAC Alsace, Altkirch, France; ‘Bungalow Germania’, German Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice, Italy; ‘Pleasure Principles’, Fondation d’Enterprise Galeries Lafayette, Paris (all 2014); and ‘Gestures in Time’, Qalandia International, Ramallah, Palestine and Jerusalem, Israel (2012). Her lectures and readings have also been held widely, including at Chisenhale Gallery, London, UK; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Kunsthalle Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; the Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo, Norway; and dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany. She is the editor of Stories, Myths, Ironies, and Other Songs: Conceived, Directed, Edited, and Produced by M. Auder (2014); Paul Sietsema: Interviews on Films and Works (2012); and co-editor of No Core: Pamela Rosenkranz (2012) and Olinka, or Where Movement Is Created (2013). Recent curatorial projects include ‘mood is made / temperature is taken’, at Glasgow Sculpture Studios, Glasgow, Scotland (2014), and ‘read the room / you’ve got to’ (2014) and ‘Emmy Moore’s Journal: An Exhibition Based on a Letter in a Short Story by Jane Bowles’ (2013), both for The Printed Room at SALTS, Basel, Switzerland. In 2012 she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was awarded an Arts Writing Grant from the Creative Capitol/Warhol Foundation. Educated at Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University in New York, Latimer now teaches at Geneva’s Haute école d’art et de design (HEAD).
Watch live stream from the lecture here:
Julia Wachtel’s paintings deploy a repertoire of images drawn from everyday popular culture which she variously appropriates, and transforms. Wachtel is often linked with the so-called ‘Pictures Generation’ in the American art of the 1980s, in which the critical appropriation of the imagery and languages of popular culture was a common denominator. Her paintings from that period still make an unusually pointed, complex impact with their analysis of the ‘society of the spectacle’ as manifested in full flood in the mid-1980s. With this exhibition, Bergen Kunsthall presents selected works from Wachtel’s solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, in 1991, where two central groups of work from the artist’s production on the threshold of the 1990s, were presented.
The series Emotional Appeal (1986) brings together two very different but equally stereotypical figure groups. The first, Wachtel’s frequently used vocabulary of caricatured, grotesque cartoon figures, taken mainly from greeting cards of the period, is combined with images of statues and masks drawn from so-called ‘primitive’ cultures. Emotional Appeal is almost perversely humorous, while at the same time its level of garish superficiality is uncomfortably disturbing. Through this explicit juxtaposition Wachtel de-historicizes both figure groups. The heterogeneous materials emerge as image-products that treat cultural stereotypes, and apparently fundamental human emotions, on an equal footing.